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10 Evergreen Trees for USDA Zone 6 Yards & Landscapes


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Evergreen trees are a great way to add life to your yards and landscapes. These trees don’t shed their leaves in the winter, and their leaves remain green with life year-round.

Since you’ve already figured out your USDA planting zone, here are some of the best evergreen trees for Zone 6 for your yards and landscapes.

10 USDA Zone 6 Evergreen Trees to Plant Today

1. Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald Green’)

Adorning landscapes and yards of some parts of NS, IL, and IA, the Emerald Green Arborvitae stays true to its name year-round. Native to the USA and Canada, this tree requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily), partial shade, and well-draining loamy soils to thrive. While they’re somewhat drought-tolerant, frequent standing water can quickly cause root rot.

The tree plays a significant role in sustaining wildlife as its needle-like leaves provide shelter to songbirds in the winter and forage for white-tailed deer while they snuggle for protection in the colder months.

The leaves produce essential oils that are used in multiple sprays, insecticides, and cleaners, while the wood is used in fencing, and the stems and twigs are used in herbal care medicine to treat various common ailments.

This tree makes a great Zone 6 privacy tree, but not if the white-tailed deer get to them first! You’ll also need to watch out for leaf miners, bagworms, and other soft-bodied insects like scales and mealybugs from damaging the foliage.

While standing water can cause root rot, less water can cause the leaves to scorch and become yellow-brown. Test the soil to prevent under and overwatering when dealing with the Emerald Green Arborvitae.

Other Common Names: American Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, Northern White Cedar

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall, 3-4 ft wide

2. Eastern White Pine Tree (Pinus strobus)

Eastern White Pine Tree
Image by F.D. Richards via Flickr

Standing tall in yards and landscapes around DE, MA, and NY, the Eastern White Pine infuses a sense of majesty wherever it’s planted.

Many commercial establishments grow this tree for its lightweight timber, but not many know that in ideal conditions, it can live for 200 or more years! The Eastern White Pine requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily), partial shade, and rich, loamy soils to thrive.

Although this type of pine tree is somewhat drought-tolerant, it will appreciate an extra watering session in between when it’s too hot outside. If you’re into pine cone DIY crafts, know that it would take the Eastern White Pine five to 10 years before it could start producing pine cones for you to experiment with.

This tree plays a significant role in sustaining wildlife, with birds and small mammals finding shelter in this tree’s warm embrace.

Squirrels, deer, and a few bird species love to feed on this tree’s seeds. That said, don’t plant this tree very close to your home’s defensible space, as it carries a high flammability rating. Native to the USA and Canada, the Eastern White Pine is used as an outdoor Christmas tree in parks, commercial establishments, and outdoor parties.

Other Common Names: Eastern White Pine, North American White Pine, Northern White Pine, Soft Pine, White Pine

Growing Zones: 3-8

Average Size at Maturity: 50-80 ft tall, 20-40 ft wide

3. Nellie Stevens Holly Tree (Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’)

Nellie Stevens Holly Tree
Image by redagainPatti via Creative Commons

Beautifying most landscapes around OH, MA, and GA, the Nellie Stevens Holly is a hybrid cultivar of I. aquifolium and I. cornuta. Mostly grown as a privacy shrub or hedge, the Nellie Stevens Holly requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily), partial shade, and loamy soils with high organic content to thrive. If it weren’t for Mrs. Nellie Robinson Stevens, this tree would have never seen the light of day.

Mrs. Stevens obtained a few Chinese berries from the U.S. Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C. She planted them in her backyard, and as they grew, they helped pollinate the English holly she was also growing.

The Nellie Stevens Holly, which is a cross between the Chinese and English holly, got its name from Mrs. Stevens, the woman who brought it to life! Growing up to three feet a year, this tree is somewhat drought-tolerant but would appreciate extra watering when it’s too hot outside.

Since it’s an evergreen tree, the Nellie Stevens Holly decorates its branches with delicate white or green flowers in the spring. In the fall, you’ll see ruby-red berries striking a beautiful contrast against the tree’s emerald-green leaves. There’s no denying that Nellie Stevens Holly is a head-turner year-round!

Other Common Names: Holly ‘Nellie R. Stevens’, Ilex ‘Nellie Stevens’, Ilex myrtifolia ‘Nellie R. Stevens’, Ilex aquifolium ‘Nellie Stevens’

Growing Zones: 6-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 ft tall, 8-15 ft wide

4. Leyland Cypress Tree (x Cupressocyparis leylandii)

Leyland Cypress Tree
Image by Michael Rivera via Creative Commons

Standing tall in landscapes around GA, MA, and OH, the Leyland Cypress does a fantastic job protecting your privacy as a Zone 6 privacy tree!

This tree is a cross between the Monterey Cypress and Nootka Cypress, both native to the USA. It requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily) and clay-like loamy soils to thrive. In some parts of NC, the Leyland Cypress tree is grown to be sold as a Christmas tree!

Growing three to four feet per year, this fast-growing Cypress tree can either be used as a screening tree for duplex properties or trained as a hedge for level pergolas and patios. Boasting silvery-green foliage when mature, the Leyland Cypress starts out with soft green leaves that provide shelter to song and game birds, especially during the winter.

Due to its rapid growth, this tree is best suited for medium to large-size gardens but should be planted away from immovable structures, overhead utility lines, and underground pipelines.

The Leyland Cypress also acts as a windbreak, so you can pair it with more delicate trees that need shielding during strong winds. Watch out for bagworms, as they can destroy an entire tree within a few weeks.

Other Common Names: Leylandii

Growing Zones: 6-10 

Average Size at Maturity: 60-70 ft tall, 15-25 ft wide

5. Fat Albert Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens ‘Fat Albert’)

Adorning landscapes around PA, GA, and MD, the Fat Albert Colorado Blue Spruce is a sight to behold all year! Sometime in 1981, Jean Iseli, the founder of Iseli nursery located in Oregon, selected this particular cultivar, and his friend, Don Howse, named it after Bill Cosby’s famous character, Fat Albert.

Today, Fat Albert Colorado Blue Spruce continues to be part of the Iseli nursery’s “Signature Series” to honor Jean Iseli, who passed away in 1986.

The needled evergreen tree requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily) and moist, well-draining soils to thrive. The Fat Albert Colorado Blue Spruce is cold-hardy and somewhat drought-tolerant but will need extra water when it’s too hot outside.

This type of spruce tree boasts a beautiful bluish-green shade all year round, this tree can also be used as an outdoor Christmas tree to breathe life to bland winters.

With an annual growth of about one foot per year, it would take this tree at least 10 years to reach a height of 10 to 15 feet. In ideal conditions, it can grow up to 100 feet in height! Keep an eye out for aphids, needle cast, cankers, and rust, which, when overlooked, can do a number on your beautiful tree.

Other Common Names: Blue Spruce, Colorado Spruce, Fat Albert Spruce

Growing Zones: 2-8

Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 ft tall, 15-20 ft wide

6. Taylor Juniper (Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’)

Taylor Juniper
Image by cultivar413 via Flickr (Taylor Juniper – Tall Slender Trees)

Standing somewhat tall in landscapes around GA, PA, and MD, the Taylor Juniper is a fantastic alternative to Arborvitaes and Cypress trees.

Native to the USA, this Juniper tree requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily) and well-draining loamy soils to thrive. If you’re looking for a cold-hardy tree, you can’t go wrong with Taylor Juniper, an excellent privacy and windbreak tree to add to your landscape.

This needled-evergreen tree’s fragrant leaves remain true to its green shade even in the bitterly cold winters.

Resistant to black walnut, drought, and poor soil quality, this tall, narrow tree won’t take kindly to wet soils or frequent standing water that can cause root rot, which can be fatal for your tree. This upright columnar evergreen serves well in small, medium, and large-sized gardens and can even be grown in containers!

Brought to life by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, the Taylor Juniper is relatively pest-resistant but can fall prey to bagworms, spider mites, and cedar apple rust.

The female variety produces flowers and bluish-purple fruits for birds and small mammals to consume. The male variety doesn’t produce fruits or flowers. Pair your Taylor Juniper with aster, snapdragon, or bellflowers for a pop of color!

Other Common Names: Taylor Eastern Red Cedar

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 20-24 ft tall, 3-5 ft wide

7. Cryptomeria Radicans (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Radicans’)

Cryptomeria Radicans
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Electrifying landscapes around MA, PA, and NY, the Cryptomeria Radicans is a fast-growing tree that grows between two and three feet per year! This tree is best suited for large gardens and landscapes because of its fast growth and rapid spread.

In the winter, the needled leaves turn bronze but remain true to their original green shade. When the temperatures warm up, the evergreen colors return, breathing life into its surroundings.

Native to China and South Japan, this tree needs full sun (at least six hours daily), dappled sunlight, and well-draining loamy soils to thrive.

They’re somewhat drought-tolerant, so while they’ll tolerate some neglect, frequent standing water, and wet soils can cause root rot. The Cryptomeria Radicans tolerates air pollution and compacted soil but can fall prey to Japanese cedar longhorn beetle, spider mites, leaf spots, blight, and mold.

Even in a large garden, you’ll need 30 to 60 feet of available space to plant this tree, and if you’re planting more than one tree, maintain 10 feet of space between each tree. In ideal conditions, this tree can live more than 650 years! Some trees in China are believed to be almost 1,000 years old! As of 2010, they’re classified as Near Threatened species by IUCN.

Other Common Names: Japanese Cedar, Japanese Cryptomeria

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 50-70 ft tall, 30-40 ft wide

8. Slender Hinoki Cypress Tree (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gracilis’)

An excellent tree for small and medium-sized gardens, the Slender Hinoki Cypress can be seen growing in landscapes around NY, TX, and GA. Native to Japan, this tree requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily), partial shade, and loamy soils with high organic content to thrive. Since it doesn’t grow very high, it’s safe to plant it under overhead utility lines.

The Slender Hinoki Cypress makes a perfect privacy tree and a makeshift Christmas tree for outdoor decorations. It will take this tree about 10 years to grow six to eight feet in height. Although it’s a slow-growing tree (growing six to eight inches a year), it’s a perfect choice for people who don’t want to meddle in too much maintenance.

Because of its slow growth, don’t plant it too close to other fast-growing trees that could prevent Slender Hinoki Cypress from getting its daily quota of sunlight. In ideal conditions, this tree can grow 100 feet tall at maturity!

You’ll need at least 12 to 15 feet of available space to plant this beauty in your landscape. Keep an eye out for juniper blight, root rot, and bagworms. The Slender Hinoki Cypress can be grown in containers, too!

Other Common Names: Slender Hinoki False Cypress

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 10-20 ft tall, 5-6 ft wide

9. Hollywood Juniper Tree (Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuka’)

Hollywood Juniper Tree
Image by Clivid via Flickr

If you’re looking for a tree that comes with its own style and charisma, the Hollywood Juniper will sweep you off your feet. Defining landscapes around GA, CA, and MA, this twisted beauty’s flame-like structure is a sight to behold year-round.

Native to China, Mongolia, Japan, and the Himalayas, the Hollywood Juniper requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily) and moist, well-draining soils to thrive.

Since the Hollywood Juniper is reasonably drought-tolerant, it won’t take kindly to frequent standing water, which can cause root rot.

Because of this tree’s unusual growth habit, it can’t be used as a hedge, but with creativity, it can be the perfect privacy screen for your front and backyard. Regardless of the season, this tree’s needle-like leaves stay green, creating an impressive contrast against its small navy fruits.

Note that only the female variety of the Hollywood Juniper produces edible fruits that are often used as a seasoning. This tree attracts birds and small mammals and is an excellent windbreak for other delicate trees in your yard.

While the Hollywood Juniper is fairly pest-free, it can fall prey to aphids, bagworms, webworms, and scale. Organic fungicides should be enough to keep your twisted tree happy!

Other Common Names: Chinese juniper ‘Kaizuka,’ Hollywood juniper, Twisted juniper, Juniperus Chinensis var. kaizuka, Juniperus Chinensis var. torulosa, Chinese juniper ‘Torulosa’

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall, 6-10 ft wide

10. Loblolly Pine Tree (Pinus taeda)

Loblolly Pine Tree
Image by Chris M Morris via Flickr

Often found in landscapes around GA, FL, and TX, the Loblolly Pine is a fast-growing tree that can reach 125 feet in ideal conditions! After the Red Maple, this tree has become a staple in many landscapes because its lumber is often used to make furniture, boxes, and posts. Native to the USA, the Loblolly Pine requires full sun (at least six hours or more daily) and moist, well-draining loamy soils to thrive.

This type of pine tree makes an excellent privacy tree and can be easily repotted from containers. That said, don’t plant it too close to your home’s defensible space because the Loblolly Pine carries a high flammability rating. The tree plays a significant role in sustaining wildlife as it provides winter cover to birds, small mammals, and rare moth species. Its seeds are often eaten by birds and squirrels.

While the tree is relatively pest-free, it can fall prey to the southern bark beetle and bark engraver beetle. In addition, rust and root rot can occur if you frequently neglect the tree’s maintenance and watering schedule. That said, this tree needs a solid windbreak partner tree, as strong winds can easily damage it. This tree is suitable for large gardens with plenty of available space for planting it.

Other Common Names: Bull Pine, Loblolly Pine, North Carolina Pine, Oldfield Pine, Rosemary Pine

Growing Zones: 6-9

Average Size at Maturity: 60-90 ft tall, 20-40 ft wide

Tree Times The Charm!

Zone 6 is home to a number of beautiful trees – from shade trees to fast-growing trees, edible cherries to crunchy nuts; there’s a tree for everyone!

If you’d like to grow something else apart from evergreen trees, why not experiment with growing apple or fig trees? On the other hand, if edible trees aren’t your thing, how about stepping out and growing palm trees instead?

If you already know what tree you’d like to plant first in your landscape, ensure you measure the space and check out its flammability rating for safe planting.

As long as you don’t grow your trees too close to immovable structures, overhead utility lines, or underground pipelines, you’ll have a wonderful experience watching them grow!

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